Returning from my late afternoon swim and a meal, it was near dusk and the sky was beginning to light up with reds and oranges. I decided to move the lounge chair down to the edge of the cliff where I could recline and see as much of the sky as possible. The edge of the cliff is planted several feet deep witth potentilla ground cover. With their small bright yellow flowers it creates an easily seen barrier to keep unattentive humans from sliding down the slope to the sea. They also serve, along with some other small shrubs and trees, to hold the sandy soil in place and keep the slope from eroding.

With several days of sitting in the backyard behind me now I am beginning to tune into it’s life. I mentioned I saw a gray gecko on the tree. I have now seen at least two bats fly over head at dusk, and red and black ants, though not many. The mosquitos are invisible and tend to bite my ankles and wrists. They must be really tiny to be so invisible, and I never feel the tingle when they land. The bites itch as much as the bigger ones we have around my home in the Colorado mountains.  I have taken to slathering on copious amounts of lemon/eucalyptus lotion which works quite well to ward them off as I drink my morning coffee. They seem to be most dense around the patio table and the viewing platforms, and much less so everywhere else. I have yet to be bit while reading in the hammock.

But back to last night. I have heard a large animal rustling around in the yard since Monday. Several times a day, mornings and afternoons. Last night he made an appearance. After having been seated on the lounge chair for about 30 minutes, and as the sunset began to fade, I heard the rustle again. Looking up and to my left, in silouhette I saw the unmistakeable outline of a raccoon’s head. It popped it’s head up, made eye contact, and immediately turned and ran away; I saw it’s distinctive body shape scurry around the concrete block wall which separates the property from the elementary school next door. So unlike the disregard they have for us in the city, where they pretty much ignore us, or even challenge if we are in between them and a food source.

I decided to close the metal storm curtains on the kitchen windows, and indeed I heard them rustling about an hour later as I lay in bed reading. I remembered a page in the notebook, and retrieved it. It says to notify Antonio, the groundskeeper, should I see one.

Author: RJMS

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